Sunday, October 18, 2015

MD-2 Battle of Denver: Harlequins v Barbarians

Denver Harlequins v Denver Barbarians
Denver Barbarians flyhalf, Ryan Walker, clears to touch

Warm in the high 70s, with high clouds and a bit of wind on a rapidly heating Cooker Rugby Grounds at Cook Park on Saturday as Harlequins and Barbarians settled into the Rugby Battle for Denver.  80 minutes and seven trys on and one Denver XV had accomplished decisive, bonus-point victory.

A Harlequin knock-on receiving kickoff put their guests on the front foot after referee Kurt Weaver’s starting signal and Barbarians claimed ball, remaining in possession and moving steadfastly forward until the crosstown crew’s flyhalf, Ryan Walker, slung a lengthy cut-out out to the centers and first five-eighths Luke Tripp made the linebreak at the Quins 22, finishing fast for a fiver and the early lead: 5-nil to the travelers, in the fifth minute of action.
Porter, in  center with ball tucked, en route to goal

Barbarians caught laying about the breakdown midway, and the boot to touch saw a Quin lineout won 10 meters from their opponent’s tryline. Toss won and the steady, patient maul to goal before tighthead Luke Porter slipped free on the short side and crashed over goal for the leveler: everyone had a handful at eight minutes.

Quins tighthead Porter a determined and happy chappy post-try
Home side experiencing much success with back-three flyers Paul Bordenkircher, Mike Boyle and Tim Flynn scorching the earth with jinky, hotstepping counters while Barbarians banging away with superb lineout taps and outright filches by leaper, UNC alum Joshua Spencer, and tightly-worked pick-and-goes from their forwards led by hooker, Marco Aguirre.
Quins with one-to-three meter gainers from breakdown, moving with patience from the visitor’s ten-meter line and into their 22 with intent. Flanker Tim Burbach broke to space for a 15-meter dash to goal; his grounding and its subsequent conversion by standoff Steve Zaugg put Harlequins in front 12-5 after 17 minutes.
Hometeam’s infringing at breakdown causing turnover ball just now and handling errors aplenty, while Barbarian mishandles out wide transferred possession in maddening fashion; travelers also taking the ball standing in the three-quarterline, enabling their adversaries’ rush defense to engage and disrupt possession.
Barbos closed the gap with a sticksplitter by Walker from in front of the posts and 12-8 in the 26th minute with Harlequins yet ahead.
Harlequins full back, Tim Flynn, snagged the cutout pass near midfield, hit the gap and outraced the chase for a 50-meter score and the numbers changed to 17 and 8 in the 36th minute, which is what the board showed at Weaver’s halftime whistle.
With Barbos on attack at the host 10 meter line, an errant catch in the centers allowed wing Mike Boyle to scoop the jounce and scoot 60 meters to touch down for a handful of points after re-start and it was 22-8 in the 42nd minute.
A superb bit of close communication by the hosts for 50 meters along touch saw fullback Flynn extend the lead with a grounding for his brace making the significant figures 27-8 in the 47th minute.
Yellow ticket issued to the Quins first center and Barbarians looking keen to capitalize on the one-man advantage in the 57th minute. Barbos into Harlequins business district, short meters from goal for five+ minutes, banging away at a Quins defense that sagged-yet-contained onslaught after smashing attack at the goaline; Men in Green were turned away by a Quin poach at breakdown and Zaugg’s clearance kick to touch.
Harlequins wing, Paul Bordenkircher, well into the mix all match long in action reminiscent of the great Welsh flyer, Shane Williams, collected a Zaugg looker in space and closed for a last try converted by Zaugg: 34-8 for the record at Weaver’s final blast.
            Harlequins – Try: Porter, Burbach, Flynn (2), Boyle, Bordenkircher; Con: Zaugg (2);
            Barbarians – Try:  Tripp; Pen: Walker

Match Official: Kurt Weaver 
noto: with Coach Angus Peacock on location at Rugby World Cup, remainder of the Harlequins instructional triumvirate, Dave Lausa and Mark Price, piloted Harlequins to victory.

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